Pillar Point, Squeaky Beach and Tidal Overlook Excursion

Memorable moments from Saturday and Sunday’s walk.

  • The granite boulders and reflections in Tidal River and the Pacific Gulls courting at the water’s edge.
  • Climbing up the north side of the River in Wet Forest vegetation of ferns, dense shrubs covered with Clematis aristata and overlooked by Brown Stringybark Eucalyptus baxteri.
  • Coast tea-tree Leptospermum laevigatum becoming more prominent with climbing until it was the dominant plant with very little understorey on the top of the ridge to Pillar Point.
  • The path with an almost closed canopy of Coast Tea-tree with groups of Pink Fairies Caladenia latifolia and Green-comb Spider-orchids C. dilatata taking advantage of the small amount of extra light along the path edge.
  • Sitting on top of the granite boulders at Pillar Point for morning tea in the gusty strong wind and admiring the views of both Norman Bay and Squeaky Beach. The one specimen we found of Crimson Berry Leptecophylla juniperina is an epacrid shrub found only round the Prom, Cape Woolamai, Tasmania and New Zealand on coastal granites.
  • The sudden force of the wind as we came over the brow of the hill. The tea-tree vanished at this point and all the heath vegetation was low and rounded.
  • Eating lunch in the lee of granite boulders on Squeaky Beach and being threatened (on the Sunday) by aggressive Silver Gulls who were intent on snatching our food.
  • The pair of Hooded Plovers spotted at the other end of Squeaky Beach and five dead Shearwaters near the lunch spot.
  • Finding different heath species on the Tidal Overlook path. Again the sharp vegetation change as we rounded a corner out of the wind. Now we entered Brown Stringybark vegetation with a very different understorey – Large-leaf Bush-pea Pultenaea daphnoides in large profusely flowering masses.
  • The large size of the Common Correa Correa reflexa bells.
  • Sitting atop an enormous granite tor for afternoon tea with views of Tidal River on one side and Leonard Bay (Squeaky Beach) on the other.
  • Cinnamon fungus Phytophthora cinnamon effects on Grasstrees.
  • A very large caterpillar 100-120mm long, fat as my middle finger, very exposed while crossing the path. It was purple/maroon in colouring with slate grey between the segments of the body. Believed to be a large moth larva.
  • Common Aotus Aotus ericoides also flowering in profusion towards the bottom of the slope.
  • Seventy centimetre tall Leek Orchids Prasophyllum near the connecting path back to Tidal River Bridge.
  • Near Rumbug, two young men dressed in camouflage gear, waving near a bogged ute. They had been shooting deer with bows and arrows. The Thurgoods rescued them with the winch on their 4WD.
  • Jackie Tims

    Large-leaf Bush-pea Pultenaea daphnoides